A Phoenix man said he decided to destroy his AR-15 assault rifles after one was used in the fatal Florida school shooting that left 17 dead.
‘I don’t think my weapons would ever be used to kill people, but it’s the point, it’s that I’m willing, as a gun owner, to sacrifice being able to own something like that for the greater good of society,’ Aaron LaRoque told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
LaRoque said that after he saw a New York man do the same with his weapons over the weekend, he was inspired to talk to his family.
‘I talked to my son and my wife about it because my son really likes them,’ LaRoque said. ‘We love shooting them. [My son has] bought two of them with his own money.
‘After I showed him the video and talked to him about it, he agreed. He said: “Let’s cut them up”.’
Despite similar weapons used in multiple mass shootings, LaRoque hadn’t thought about giving them up until the fatalities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
‘When you really stop and think about it, is it worth me being able to take that gun and go to the range and shoot it? he said.
‘It’s a lot of fun to shoot. Is that worth it when we have all these people dying from AR-15 shootings?
‘All these mass shooters seem to be using AR-15s and I just really started to think about that.’
LaRoque said that there are other firearms he owns, including hunting rifles and handguns, but he said there seemed to be a stark difference between them and his AR-15s.
‘They serve a purpose – home protection or hunting and we thought about it,’ he said. ‘AR-15s seem to be meant for killing people and we don’t want a part of that.’
Just like the New York man, he said he chose to cut them up rather than sell them or turn them over to police because the weapons could eventually fall into the wrong hands.
‘To me, the whole point is to say, ‘I don’t agree with these anymore — people owning these assault weapons’ and that’s what they are: assault weapons,’ LaRoque said.